WOW! It's almost time! Here is what you missed the last 2 weeks. I know, I am lazy, but planning for a baby takes a lot of time!
On Monday, 9/26/11, at 35 weeks, 4 days, I had to have my Non-Stress Test done at St. Joe's hospital due to no nurses in the doctor office this day. The triage nurse was so kind and prepared the computer with all the necessary information she could gather from me to prepare for my surgery. She had basic information in the computer already sent over from the doctor office and was so gentle about my first pregnancy and all of its complications. "You know, your blood pressure rises every time you talk about your sweet Ethan," she said, glancing at me with a sad but affirming look. "I know," I told her, "but I have come so far in the last 6 years."
The non-stress test was reactive like it is supposed to be, baby's heartrate was in the 140's and no contractions measured at all. My blood pressure was a little higher than normal, but within range, 113/68 and I weighed in at 155 lbs. She checked my urine and all was well.
On Thursday, 9/29/11, at 36 weeks, Shaun and I went to the doctor office for a bio-physical profile and growth of the baby ultrasound. All was looking great. Here are the stats:
Placenta: looking good along the back of the uterus
Heart Rate: 144 beats per minute
Head circumference:32.4 cm
Head length (BPD): 8.86 cm
Femur length: 6.82 cm
Abdominal circumference: 33.46 cm
Amt. of amniotic fluid: plenty: 17.6 (not too much or too little)
Weight: 6lb, 9 oz
Measuring: 35 weeks, 5 days
Presentation: head down
Mom weight: 155
Mom BP: 100/58
Mom Pulse: good
Placenta is looking extremely well for a 36 week-er and it posterior!
Baby is 55% on the growth curve!!
I made the sonographer, Jacquelyn check to be sure it was still a boy! YES it is and his testicles have descended. YAY!!
I complained of cramping in my left inner thigh when I walk. Dr. Keeton seems to think it is related to not getting enough calcium or potassium in my diet. I think it is baby pressing on a nerve when I walk. I will eat some bananas and milk more often and I will walk with my legs spread out a little more, too. Cover both angles!!
I have also been having some palpitations where my heart skips a beat hear and there. She stated that this is normal in pregnancy and not to be too concerned unless it is happening very frequently, as in several times a day. Then call and they will check on it.
The doctor had us sign some paperwork for the surgery and gave us the list of risks, what to do, etc. She then said, "Did I tell you about the steroids?"
"Well, because you are delivering at 38 weeks instead of 39 weeks, there is a small chance that the baby's lungs are not fully developed. Chances are that baby has made surfactant in his lungs and he will be fully developed, but as a precaution, we could give injections of Betamethasone at 48 hours prior to surgery and again at 24 hours prior and that will cause a sequence to signal to the baby to make surfactant. There are studies that show this to be effective for earlier gestational age and some studies suggest this is worth it for this gestational age as well. The other alternative would be to do an amniocentesis and I think you would much prefer this. Am I right?"
So we decided to go ahead with the steroids. But, will need to either drive to AA on Tuesday and Wednesday or give it to myself. I decided I couldn't do an intramuscular injection myself and I most certainly would not trust my hubby to do it for me (insert chuckling here). So, I told the doctor that I would enlist one of my nursing friends to do the deed for me at home.
On Monday, 10/3/11 (36w4d) I had another NST in the office. No problems. All is looking good. Some contractions recorded. BP: 96/60, weight: 156.2 (Can this stop going up, please?)
I had a baby shower at work and was generously showered with gifts from my new sweet co-workers. What a blessing they are! The following day, Shaun went to his radiology class and was surprised by his class of 18 students and professor with a $75 gift card to Target. What a great surprise to us that was as well!!
On Thursday, 10/6/11, Shaun and I traveled to Ann Arbor and spent our gift card on baby essentials we had been lacking. We enjoyed a great lunch at Red Robin and then had our 37 weeks bio-physical profile at the doctor office. The baby did not practice breathing movements immediately like he usually does which concerned us, but the tech was not worried as he still did it within the time frame. He received a score of 8/8 again and had a heart rate of 122! A little low, but he was sound asleep, until we prodded him with the transducer through the belly. The amniotic fluid was up to 22 which indicates polyhydramnios over 20. Placenta looked over really well and shows some signs of aging (as it is supposed to at 37 weeks) but no indication of any clots or problems so to speak. BP: 100/62 and weight: 157.2
The doctor assured me that babies only practice breathing 15% of the time while in the womb, therefore the fact that we get to see it in a short 20 minutes is really good. She also assured me that my elevated fluid level could be off by 4 cms either way, and may not indicate polyhydramnios due to margin. However, since I was delivering in a week anyway, we should not be concerned that it is a sign of anything negative.
We discussed some of the anxiety hubby and I have regarding surgery and Doctor Williams told us to start visualizing a positive outcome. She told us to start focusing on things we can control. I asked her what this was. She said, breathing, whether you want the lights dimmed in the OR (this is her personal favorite, lights dimmed and only overhead lights around the surgical site), if I want music played in the background, ask anesthesia if Shaun can be in the room for the spinal, or she could personally hold me while it is being placed. Take something to do for 2 hours pre-surgery, like crossword, or magazine or ipod, etc.
We asked her about anti-anxiety meds prior to spinal. She suggested no as she didn't want baby to receive it. So, I asked about aromatherapy. She stated she would check with the hospital, but thought that would be fine. We could listen to music, enjoy the fragrance of peppermint, with our lights dimmed low and have a date in the OR awaiting the arrival of our little boy. The nurse could take pictures as he is being lifted out and Shaun could just be present in the moment with me. He would be allowed to stay in the OR while a nurse let our family know that we were ok and healthy until we were back into recovery around 1:30-2pm.
Ahhhhh! That picture sounds so good. I cannot wait. Shaun asked about stitching the incision. So technical. She will use sutures rather than glue. hehe! She reexplained the steroids and its functions and how it causes a stress response in the baby to release a hormone to produce surfactant. This concerned me as I had thought that the stress response is what caused the placental abruption. She said no. Abruptions are poorly understood and therefore we cannot say that a stress response caused it. But, steroids should not be a risk for abruption.
She told us that my NST on Monday would need to be done at the hospital again because of nursing staffing issues again. So, I took that opportunity to ask if I could come in on Tuesday and have them give me my first steroid shot and therefore I would only need the 2nd dose administered at home. The doctor agreed this would be fine and scheduled the NST on Tuesday at 11am at the hospital and then I would come over to the office to have my shot.
I scheduled my post-operation doctor appointments at 1 week past discharge from the hospital and 6 weeks post delivery. So, it's official...I will no longer be pregnant passed Thursday afternoon!!!!!
I am a little anxious. I am a little terrified. I am a little excited. But, I am big time trusting that God will be glorified no matter what. Our God is greater than any of my little quirky feelings.
I expect some praising!!!!
Father, thank you so very much for the blessing in this pregnancy. Most has gone by without any problems and I am so thankful for your provision and your dedication to use me amidst this journey to serve those around me. I ask for you to take the lead physician's chair in the delivery room and direct the procedures as you see fit. I ask that you draw attention to the earthly doctors any potential problems and help them to be wise about what do about this or that. Give Shaun and me the strength, the fortitude, the calm and peace that only You can give us as we endure the next 4 days and I pray that You also give us the joy and grace to accept Your precious gift of a living son to us on Thursday, October 13, 2011! We pray for gentleness and awe in the delivery room and the ability to manage the visitors we plan to receive. We are so humbled and grateful for what you have given us and plan to share your goodness with all those who we encounter. Father, I ask that you are with my sisters who are currently pregnant after loss and help them to ease their anxiety and put their trust in you throughout their experience. I ask that you bless them as richly or better as you did for us and I ask that you provide them with calm through their journeys so they may reach others for you too. I thank you for all the readers I have had and for those who are yet to stumble across this blog and I pray that I continue to be used by you in my future endeavors. In Jesus' name, AMEN!